The Toasted Oat Granola

It’s soft!  I haven’t had a soft granola since I was little.  I’d even forgotten people made granola that way.

I recently received some samples from The Toasted Oat.  It is a certified gluten-free granola that has a great chew to it and makes a really great change to the variety of hard granolas.  The product was launched in Ohio last year and they have recently opened their website, including online ordering.  You can also find them on facebook and twitter.

Currently, four flavors make up their product base: Peanut + Raisin, white Chocolate + Macadamia, Blueberry + Flax, and Cashew + Apricot.

Peanut + Raisin has large chunks of peanuts and raisins that have developed a bit more chew to them.  They’re like the raisins I made in my dehydrator once (that took forever).  I really like the taste and the chew of the raisins.  The chew of the granola chunks is not quite that of a cookie, but very close.  The flavor is great; the peanuts and raisins well complement each other and the “base” flavor of the granola.

Toasted Oat granola comes in these cute little cans that would make great keepsake/craft projects (money bank…).  My daughter will be so excited.

While Peanut + Raisin is a more “familiar” flavor, Cashew + Apricot gives a little bit of spin and sophistication to life.  The apricots don’t really stand out, but blend in, enriching the flavor of the granola.

Peanut + Raisin, Cashew + Apricot, White Chocolate + Macadamia, Blueberry + Flax

Peanut + Raisin, Cashew + Apricot, White Chocolate + Macadamia, Blueberry + Flax

Blueberry + Flax has some great dried blueberries in it.  Corice recognized the cinnamon in the granola.  She said it reminds her of blueberry muffins.  It makes me want to put blueberries in my oatmeal cookies next time I bake them.

White chocolate + macadamia is definitely the “dessert” granola of the bunch.  “It tastes really really good to me,” Corice shared.  This is definitely like a cookie (I love white chocolate macadamia cookies!).

I’m going to have to be really careful with these.  Each container has 12 1/4-cup servings, but I could eat the whole thing in one sitting if I’m not paying attention.

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Crispy Green Fruit

Freeze-dried fruits have got to be the best kind of dried fruits, at least in my opinion.  Though I do enjoy dehydrating fruits myself sometimes, they certainly have a different texture than freeze-dried, which has that airy crunch to it.  Freeze-dried fruits also sort of dissolve in your mouth if you suck on them.  :)

I recently received some samples from Crispy Green of their freeze-dried fruit.  They’ve not only got your “typical” dried fruits, but they throw in a little something extra, too.

Dried Cantaloupe?  Who ever heard of such a thing?  It’s definitely the strangest thing.  It’s like cantaloupe in a chip form.  It’s pretty good, and pretty fun.  Some pieces are sweeter than others (because they’re real fruit, of course).  Carter said it tastes a little weird, but after his fourth piece, I still got a “Can I have another, please?”  Corice thought they were really good and said “I love this!”

Crispy Green Tangerine and Cantaloupe

Crispy Green Tangerine and Cantaloupe

Tangerine, though, takes the cake.  This is definitely my favorite!  I could seriously eat these all day long.  They’ve got the pucker of the tartness and the lift of sweetness.  Of course, you get all of the fiber and nutrients (because only the water is removed).  I almost had to smack Corice’s hand away; she tried to snitch them off the plate while I was photographing them.
I don’t want to share them, but I’ll be a good Mommy.
Carter gives them a thumbs up and Corice says they are “very, very, very good.  They taste like fruit that is juicy but there is no more juice.”

I think that about sums it up.

Crispy Green comes in other flavors, too, like Asian Pear, Pineapple, Apple, Mango, and Banana.  There are no additives or preservatives.  The only ingredient is the fruit!  They are also peanut- / tree nut-free and gluten-free, and now Non-GMO Project verified.

You can use the store locator to find a store near you, or they can be purchased online.

Give the tangerine a try and get ready for a sweet pucker.  Don’t forget to share!  :)

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Tyrrell’s Hand-Cooked English Chips

I love witty packaging, as long as the food inside is good, of course.

Rumor has it that some of our peers in the chip world have been attempting to ‘jazz up’ their wares with things like MSG and something known as ‘disodium guanylate.’  Barbarians!

Yep, the packaging for Tyrrell’s Hand-Cooked English Chips is a good accompaniment to their awesome potato chips.

Veg Chips: now this is the way I like my beets!  :) Thin and crispy, these chips give you a chance to try something you might not otherwise, like beets and parsnips.  I think, though, this may be the first time I’ve ever had chips made from carrots.  The beets and carrots, though crispy and crunchy, just seem to make your mouth party itself into a salivation frenzy.  Yeah, it’s like that.  All I can get out of Braden is a vigorous nod of the head while he stuffs his face.

Tyrrell's Mature Cheddar and Chives

Lightly Sea Salted, they mean lightly.  It has less than half the sodium of the others.  The sunflower oil that they are fried in gives it a hint of a different flavor than many potato chips.  Braden can’t keep his hand out of the bag.

Mmmmm… Mature Cheddar and Chives.  Yeah, there won’t be anything left in this bag tonight.  They are “tremendous with a cheeky pickled onion” according to the bag.  I don’t know about that, but they’re pretty tremendous all on their own.  This is definitely not your typical “cheese-flavor” found on chips and the like.  Each chip is a new surprise, too.  Some have just a hint of flavor and some have an explosion.  You may not want to eat these on a date, though.  The chives hang with you.  But they’re tasty chives.

Braden, put down the Lightly Sea Salted bag and step away from the chips.  Well, everyone else is binge-ing on crappy all-you-can-eat gluteny pizza somewhere, so I’m being the awesome mother that I am and sharing potato chips for dinner with my gluten-free man.  Yeah.

Well, I wrote this post a few weeks ago and had a couple more bags of chips to try.  I opened the Sweet Chili & Red Pepper and had a couple, but left the bag on the counter, not on the review shelf.  Oops.  I came home to find my husband had eaten the entire bag.  I guess he thought they were really good.  Take my word when I say you need to give these a try.  Who ever heard of star anise in a spicy pepper chip?

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Ratio Bars

You know my crazy life tends to provide me ample opportunities to love the convenience and nutrition in protein bars.  This semester, Mondays and Wednesdays are my beasts : 4 and a half straight hours of teaching (3 hours of lecture), and Wednesdays I teach a night class to boot.  If I’m lucky, I eat a protein bar.  If I’m unlucky, I might not eat.  :(

I recently received some samples from Ratio Bars, which have given me more choices in my crazy-day-protein-bar-life.

The Cookie Crunch tastes like a candy bar, almost like a cross between a Heath bar and a 3 Musketeers (but I can’t really decide which, so I crossed it out). Layers of fudge, caramel fluff, and crispy rice are smothered in chocolate.

Ratio Peanut Butter Cup

The Peanut Butter Cup is like a less-sweet version of Reese’s with a layer of fudge.  An interesting tidbit for you, their powdered sugar uses tapioca starch instead of cornstarch (at least in pb cup).

Cake Batter is an interesting take on the protein bar.  Soft chewy inside surrounded by a thick outer layer of crispies and white chocolate-like candy.  You can taste the whey protein, but it’s not a bad flavor.  It’s obviously not candy, though it tastes like it at first.  It sort of does taste like vanilla cake batter, though not as sweet.

Ratio Bars are gluten-free, have no GMOs, no hormones, and no soy protein.

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Thank You

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.

My father went to be with the Lord yesterday morning, 6 weeks and 2 days after we found out he had pancreatic cancer. I was fortunate enough to be able to spend the majority of spring break with my father, and to be able to go back and spend the last few days of his life helping my mother.

Though I miss him greatly and my heart aches, I am grateful that he did not have to suffer for months and years.

I know that I will one day be with him again.

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